3 scams to avoid while traveling internationally

Being alert is a key part to traveling overseas and these are three scams to avoid when you touch down.
Tourist enjoy the beach as Hotels look destroyed at Riviera...
Tourist enjoy the beach as Hotels look destroyed at Riviera... / Eyepix Group/GettyImages

International travel should be an enjoyable experience for all parties. Whether it’s your first time in a foreign country, or your 20th, traveling overseas is a big deal that can become a life-altering experience. That can be both a positive and negative statement. Many travelers find themselves suffering from various scams used to nickel and dime them while on a trip. These tips will help you be aware and stay in the know of what’s going on.

The Meter Is Broken

Taxis use a meter system to determine the fare of their ride based on distance and time. But what happens when you sit in a taxi and the driver tells you “I’m sorry, my meter is broken.” You should immediately get out of the car. That’s the signal that the driver is going to charge you multiple times the regular rate for your trip. Immediately leave the cab and walk away. Usually, their meter will suddenly start working again or you can find another ride. Some drivers are even claiming that their phone internet stopped working and they lost GPS service, after driving you around to run up the fair.

Pay close attention to what drivers are doing to avoid a high fare. Never be afraid to walk away and use car services when available.

Do Not Let Anyone Put Something In Your Hand

This is common when walking on the street in popular tourist areas. If someone reaches out to shake your hand, do not return the favor. This is usually a tactic to slip something onto you, which is followed by a shake-down by the local police. There are many stories of travelers being coerced by authorities to pay sums of money to avoid going to jail, this is one way those scams come into play. As always, keep your hands to yourself, say hello, and keep it moving.

Know The Rules Of Exchanging Money

Exchanging money is an important step when traveling internationally. When you do it is important, and so is where. The exchange rate frequently changes, and some locations will give you a different rate. Before you travel, take a moment to research the current exchange rate for your destination, and compare that to areas both near you and when you arrive. Some spots may attempt to short you on the exchange rate, cutting into the amount of money you have to spend.